The Green Bay Packers were disappointing in 2017. Among the preseason favorites to play and/or win the Super Bowl, our green and gold got off to a fast 4-1 start. All of this came crashing down on one play versus the hated Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers was down and out with a broken collarbone and the rest is history. The Packers finished with a losing record at 7-9. Changes have immediately followed with a new general manager and several new coaches. Although it may not be time to rebuild in Wisconsin, it is definitely time to reload.
The last time the Packers finished with a losing record, there was a sense of high urgency at 1265 Lombardi Avenue and it showed its head at the 2009 NFL draft. Picking tenth overall, the Green Bay Packers selected NT BJ Raji out of Boston College. Although that pick wasn’t overly surprising, the Packers pulled a move that has been rare for them in the past. They traded back into the first round with the New England Patriots to select a linebacker with a great football pedigree out of USC. His name is Clay Matthews III.
This year feels eerily similar to 2009. The Packers have, once again, this high sense of urgency about them. McCarthy likely feels as though the hot seat burns a little hotter these days. Gone are several coaches because it just wasn’t good enough. McCarthy has stated that the defense must be better than the offense. This is something we, as Packer fans, have not seen in quite some time. In order to do this, the Packers are going to have to come in bold both during free agency as well as the draft.
With the fourteenth overall pick, the Packers have the opportunity to land a top 5, if not top 10, defensive player. The reason is that the top of the draft is quarterback heavy this year, sliding down guys that normally wouldn’t. In addition, the Packers have twelve overall picks. This will be enough ammunition for our new GM Brian Gutekunst to package some picks and get back into the first. This is an exciting time for Green Bay and I look for them to land two potential starters for the defensive side of the ball right away in round one of the 2018 NFL draft. If the Packers can add a cornerback like Josh Jackson from Iowa and an edge rusher like Marcus Davenport from UTSA, Harold Landry from BC or Arden Key from LSU, consider this draft a success. The pieces to make it happen are there. Timing is everything and Coach Kevin Greene said it best at Super Bowl XLV with his famous line, “It is time.”Robert Martin bleeds green and gold despite living in North Dakota, where many cheer for the purple. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @robertmartinPHD.